I dreamed of the place

I sometimes dream of places my feet remember travelling.

Fountain Street, Shizuoka, Japan. I know that cannot possibly be the name of the street, but it’s what we called it, because all along its cobbled length fountains spewed beautiful sprays of water and pooled in places that collected pennies (or yen, I guess). They lit up. We often spent evenings sprawled about drinking beer and watching the light show illuminate the water against starry skies. I dream of hot humid nights with my tired feet resting in cool fountain pools in which we revealed ourselves as strangers and became friends for life. A smile curls my lips and wakes me with fond memories.

Along the former course of the Berlin Wall I remember looking down at my feet as I watched the double paving stones marking out where it was once divided east and west. In my dreams I see only my feet walking this path, my footsteps are heavy and ominous. I wake exhausted.

My sea legs take over on Prinsengracht where houseboats line the canal. My dreams let me live on a houseboat in Amsterdam. It is tiny and compact and I fit inside perfectly. I catch a view of a flip-flop resting carelessly over a bright red toenail as I bob on the canal sipping my morning coffee next to vases full of multi-coloured tulips from the floating market. I wake feeling like spring time.

In Denmark I am Ophelia, sad and desolate in Helsingor, Kronborg: Hamlet’s castle. It is cold, wet and it feels dark and gloomy. I witness my own undoing, a deliberate and painful spiral of madness. I cannot make sense of the poetry I recite. I walk the cold halls barefoot. I wake from these dreams just before drowning.

On Haight Street I am standing facing the house where Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead hung out. I walk up the steps and hear the notes of “Terrapin Station” float through the smoky air. I rest my tie-dyed socked feet on bright orange cushions and let the music wash over me. I wake rested, blissful and relaxed.

We drive our station wagon slowly down Toryville Lane. Trees stretch their limbs in yoga-like poses to canopy the drive. Near the bottom I can see the shore and I roll down my window to let the sea salt air fill my nostrils. All of my best childhood memories are on the Amherst Shore. Decades of summers with sandy feet. Feet that walked sand flats looking for salted sea glass, that suffered jelly fish stings, got toasty next to bonfires, and rocked canoes and boats. I wake with a sense of myself that is missing and an itch to swim in salt water again.

I walk the maze of Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews. I begin through the perfumed path as someone’s girlfriend, I leave as his fiance. This dream is real and it always makes me blissful to remember that.

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